I gave away books for free the other day and boy, it was a lesson learnt

Whenever I get disheartened of a humane act or good deed I do as part of Tabung Minci or for just being an NGI, I’d scroll through my previous blog posts to gather insight on why I do this in the first place.

Like this post.

I am still learning how to ‘Give Properly’. To give in abundance, in ikhlas, precious and hopefully of need and meaningful to the recipient.

Recently, I decided to do book gifting to my colleagues. It was Xmas season. I mean, who wouldn’t like a book to read right?Surely professionals would love a book. And is willing to try and take on a new genre. Right? Apparently not. I got them wrong. haih.. paiseh.

The books are handpicked from my own shelf. These are books that I love to read, only knowing myself – I wouldn’t read them the second time because of time constraint. I still have a lot on my TBR (to be read) list.

Anyway, all of these books are too shiny, glossy and pricey to be rounded up in a recycling bin. And to do a jumble sale is taking too long to organize. I could actually donate them to a public library but the titles felt so personal ( I honestly don’t know how to explain) that I thought why not share the joy of reading them with my friends.

For each person, I chose a book that I feel would suit their personality and once I gave it to them personally- that was when things got interesting and awkward to a certain extent.

Common questions I got was

  • Why are you giving this?
  • Is this a gift or are you lending it?

Heartwarming response

  • reading the synopsis and willing to try a new genre
  • saying a simple thank you and keeping the book in their personal bag
  • caught already reading the book and loving it so far
  • talking about the book and recommending titles that I may like (bonus)

Heartbreaking response (trying to be chill about it though)

  • without a single flip through the book asking is he/she could sell the book on shopee (I said the book was a gift – it is up to you to do as you please. There was a small thug in my heart as the book was a really good one. If I had known, I would have given it to someone else)
  • without reading the synopsis , kept it in the office drawer. We all know whatever goes inside the drawer, never makes its way out unless it is time for spring cleaning
  • an immediate skeptic response to an unknown form of literature. I have taken into good faith that a thriller could be enjoyed in any language you understand. I failed to understand then, that a non-English thriller may not emit the same excitement of an English thriller

Despite the shortcomings, I felt it was still fulfilling all the same. I am not looking for a book in exchange, or a thanks on Watsapp group (oh god.. please no). It was a small act of sharing joy and giving that’s all. I kept reminding myself that I should give unconditionally. Yes, hiccoughs happen but they are there for a reason. Keep giving. Never stop.

Only in the future, make it Focused, Meaningful & Beneficial.

Sparkle Run Melaka 2020 – a rare weekend activity

The announcement for this event came out very early. At the time I was contemplating on joining or otherwise. There are a few factors that I have to take into consideration whenever I choose to participate in a weekend activity.

  • Kids friendly or otherwise
  • Duration of programme
  • Venue of programme
  • Husbands schedule

If I had to attend a formal course on a weekend – then that is without a doubt, a must go. No question. No need to discuss. But when it comes to something of choice – I need to deliberate.

On Saturdays, my husband works in the clinic for at least half a day. On top of the weekday locum slots he is assigned to. He needs to fulfill his percentage of clinical work since he is most of the time doing a non clinical form of job.

On Sundays, or Saturday sometimes , he has to give community talks, organize gotong royong in a taman affected by dengue fever (which the residents don’t attend anyway) and god knows what other stuff involving handshaking the higher official menteri and such.

In a way, my Me Time or weekend activities need to also consider the above. His timetable. Safe bet is, I plan my stuff and inform him way in advance before he arranges his schedule. With frequent reminders hereafter so he wouldn’t forget through shared digital calendars, physical calendars, watsapp notification and verbal ones via the kids. Ha ha ha.

Sometimes he still forgets. Like my bellydancing session in Bangi. He made me cancel. I said No. He had to rope in his parents to help and we were grumpy towards each other the whole weekend.

Sparkle Run Melaka 2020

This run was announced many months earlier. I was thrilled for I could plan ahead. This is my first run so I am not quite sure what to expect but reading from other peoples experience of other runs – it should be a short run. Indeed it was. We came for the 0830am flag off and noted that those who went for the 0700am flag off has safely received their medal and on their way home.

The run venue was near to home, so it’s a plus point.

It was stated kids friendly but from the email, it discouraged bringing kids less than 2 years old. So I didn’t bring Ninie. On that day however, I saw other runners bringing their kids in strollers. Dayum.. I could have done the same.

My 5km run with Ee was done in 43minutes. We were pleased with ourselves and will consider joining other runs later. If it fits my weekend activity criteria.

Weddings , grocery shopping for instance are kids friendly activities with a less than 3 hours duration. The difficulty level may differ depending on the variables for the day – husband presence, kids mood or Will to Cooperate, the crowd etc. Even then I still need to plan my grocery trips – is it better to go Family Store where they help you to pack your stuff with less variety or to Tesco with good variety but hands off attitude when it comes to packing customers grocery. In both situation – I bring my own shopping bag. But Family Store was more willing to help.

Anyway, now that I find Fun Run interesting – I will now need to juggle future runs with other cropping weekend agendas – Ee’s skill classes, weddings, birthday parties, courses, visit parents etc etc.. thankful for my faithful HoboMinci.

Hotel Seri Malaysia Pulau Pinang

We booked a one night stay at this hotel because we were flying back to Melaka from Penang using Malindo Air.

We took a 2 hour 45 min ferry ride from Langkawi to Penang. Once at the pier, we booked a Grab ride to bring us to the hotel.

This is a 2 star hotel which gives off a 3 star vibe. Eventhough the lobby was small, they provide Welcome drinks to guests which is a nice touch. They even had cute Christmas decorations with freaky little dolls in the main space.

Without a doubt, Seri Malaysia is an old hotel. Not to the extent of having dilapidated facilities but more to its design and crowd. Service is impeccable although Mr Husband did have a minor glitch at the reception. The lady handling our check in was unable to relay basic guests information.

We get to check in 30 mins earlier and coccooned ourself in the hotel compound. It was after all New Years eve and to have our meals outside could be challenging with all the traffic. We also fear of stumbling upon drunk people.

Mr Husband booked 2 Family Room through Traveloka. Our room has 1 double bed and 1 single bed. It was priced at RM142.56 per night including tax. The room fee came with FREE WIFI & FREE breakfast for 3 people for each room. In a way, Ee is covered. Each room has a mini fridge, hairdryer, towels and basic toiletries.

We ordered the steamboat buffet ‘lunch’ at its restaurant for our meal. It was priced at a flat rate of RM18/pax. The portion was huge. We couldn’t finish the noodles. The seafood and marinated poultry seemed fresh. The juice were refillable. Later at night, Mr Husband tapau-ed some food for his parents dinner. I was still full from the steamboat meal.

After the steamboat meal, Ee and Mr Husband went to explore the pool. It’s very small. Ee could fit the kiddie pool just by his length (height). But it is adequate as long as you’re not training for the olympics.

Breakfast was commendable. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the options they had for a 2 star accommodation. Refills were prompt and tables were cleared swiftly. We checked out by 12 noon and took a Grab to the airport for our flight. Location wise , this is a good place to bunk in as there are a lot of eateries within walking distance.

I would definitely consider Hotel Seri Malaysia again in my future visits to Pulau Pinang.

A career or a temporary gig

No one ever said that if you have a medical degree, you are destined to become a doctor forever. What if, like Jonny Kim, it was a temporary gig and that you are destined for greater things in life?

He was a Lieutenant –> Medical Doctor –> Astronaut

Growing up in a traditional society – I have been programmed into thinking if you did a law degree, you should become a lawyer. If you chose accountancy in high school as opposed to biology – you almost certainly are made to become an accountant by your parents. Perhaps it took me too long to notice that in my family, my sister is already breaking the norms and that it is never too late to do something that you like.

She has a degree that qualifies her to become a certified nutritionist. But life has its ways of making my sister walk down a path that led her to teach. She is now a teacher and when I asked her from some advice with regards to food and health – she would honestly say, she does not remember a single thing! LOL.

I am blogging this because I had an epiphany today. What if I am not meant to become a specialist and that this career, as an MD, is just a temporary path for me to sharpen my skills and allow me to blossom into an individual fit enough to undertake a more interesting path in the future. The more I thought about this today, the more euphoric I got with the job choices that came floating in my head.

(I am so excited with this possibility that I am imagining myself in my future chosen career already..)

… and that career spells out as premium, exclusive, dark yet meaningful.

The mysterious task

We called over Yasin for a special task today. He will be paid RM50 for a job requiring less than 30 minutes to execute.

Yasin is our regular grass cutter. He is a Bangladeshi and he works legally with a local company doing landscaping, general drain cleaning and grass mowing. To earn extra money, he does freelancing grass cutting. Before Yasin, we had Sohail to mow our lawn but then Sohail completed his legal working contract and was ready to go home. So, he passed his mobile phone to Yasin and that was how we got to know him.

Yasin’s usual job is to cut our grass once a month. We would give him a fee for his effort and most of the time I would throw in a packed hot meal for him to tapau home depending on what we’re having for the day. Sometimes it is rice, others would be noodles – on the odd days I’d just make him Indomie with fried egg for his dinner.

Today, Mr Husband called him in for a different task. It was actually a chore that Mr Husband had to do but since he has a weak gut – he passed it on to another person. He should give Yasin a raise.

We have this bathroom that we have not used for a very long time because the flush doesn’t work. Husband is taking ages to fix it. Naturally, it became musty as ventilation is poor. Little did we know that the bathroom were beginning to have visitors until one day we noted a very distinct rotting smell. We had thought that it could be something dead in our attic since the stray cats love to eat their meals there but upon checking, there was nothing there.

The smell became stronger every week and it started to linger into the living hall and such. Soon we were able to follow the scent and it came from the bathroom. Now, just so you know, we had made sure that the toilet lid and the drain hole was closed when we decided to put the bathroom at rest. So when I decided to check the bathroom I was so surprised to see animals in there! DEAD ANIMALS!

Thankfully I am not the sort of person who screams but the sight did make me jolt a bit. Mr Husband macam biasa bukannya nak tengok coz he geli. *rolleyes*.

I saw a little dead frog decomposing near the bath tub water plug and as I stepped nearer, I then saw a decomposing big black lizard. Probably the length of my forearm. I’m not quite sure which animal died first although the story behind it would be interesting. From what I gather, they are both in the 2nd stage of decomposition. The bloat stage – where they release gas that cause the body to rupture. I feel it has not entered the active stage cause there were no maggots and fluids around. (thank god). The putrid odour was unbearable as I entered the bathroom. There were 2 other dead cockroaches and that was it.

Yasin came and Mr Husband assisted him in the 3D challenge. Dirty, Dangerous & Demeaning. In less than 30 minutes, the carcasses are out of the house.

It is still puzzling to us as to how these animals gained access to the bathroom. We feel that the bath tub drain was too small for them to enter plus the toilet bowl and floor drain entry points does not seemed compromised. Do frogs and lizards have abilities like cats to squeeze themselves into really small holes? Or have we overlooked an opening that we are not aware off? Or did the lizard came when it was still small and grew inside our bathroom by feeding on frogs and cockroaches? Bizarre right? Mr Husband went as far as to guessing that this had to do with black magic. Like, omg.. is someone trying to send us a spell and these reptiles magically landed in our bathroom. oh boy, what if it was a snake? That would be really creepy.

I hope that will be the end of our surprises. I hope not to discover any more dead animals soon. urgh.